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Our Cars: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

5 October 2015: Outlander gets a new face

The Details

Current mileage 6395
Claimed economy 148.6mpg
Actual economy 48.1mpg

See that car in the picture? It’s not ours, but it is still an Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi is calling the facelift its biggest midelife update ever - and it’s easy to see why. The anonymous styling has been replaced with a strong, modern look both front and rear. And yet, underneath it all, the basics are the same as before.

The changes aren’t merely skin deep though. The updated Outlander PHEV has revised suspension with improved ride and handling and tweaked steering. While we haven’t had many complaints about the drive in our Outlander, a bit more weight and bite to the steering is welcome.

The powertrain remains unchanged with the same arrangement of two electric motors – one for each axle – and a petrol engine to generate power. That said, the software has been improved, meaning the new model accelerates slightly faster than our outgoing version.

Range remains the same, which means that most buyers can get to and from work without using much fuel, if any at all. The journey itself should be slightly more pleasant than in the outgoing version though, thanks to some improvements to the fit and finish in the cabin.

04_Mitsubishi _Outlander _PHEV_2015

Perhaps the biggest criticism we have for our Outlander is the choice of materials inside, including on the dashboard top. It’s not that they’re of poor quality – they’re very durable indeed – it’s just that they don’t look or feel like they belong in a large, fairly expensive car.

This criticism has been addressed in the revised model, which has a new steering wheel, new seats and a new centre console. There have also been plenty of subtle changes to improve noise isolation from the engine, the tyres and the wind, making the Outlander PHEV quieter than it was before – and it was hardly loud.

These changes aren’t for nothing though – you have to pay more for the new Outlander PHEV. Fortunately, in addition to the improved quality and refinement there is some new technology on offer too including a heated steering wheel and a 360-degree around-view camera to make parking easier.

Since the Outlander PHEV went on sale it has been the most popular plug-in model available in the UK, but rivals are catching up – so it’s good (for Mitsubishi at least) that the revised model is so appreciably better than the outgoing car. As for us – we have a few weeks left with the outgoing car, but it keeps providing faithful service.

« Earlier: A second opinion: Conclusions     Later: Where's the infrastructure »

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